Asking prices shoot up to a new record

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This month the asking prices for new properties shot up in what must be seen as an encouraging sign for the UK economy.

From the average asking price of £229,429 in January to £235,741 this month, the 2.8% rise was described as “sprightly” by Rightmove.

We now have the highest asking prices for new sellers since the collapse of Lehman Brothers. This is however still slightly below the 2008 peal of £237,856.

In London the asking price also increase, now standing at an all-time record of £486,890. It even surpasses the previous record set in November last year when the average asking price was £483,709. Even more startling is the comparison to prices this time last year with prices having increased by 8.4% from an asking price of £480,890.

The picture is not completely rosy however, as property stocks are low with an average estate agency having only 64 properties on the books. That’s lower than at any point in 2012 and unchanged since the beginning of the year.
Miles Shipside, director and housing market analyst at Rightmove, said: “There has been a sprightly start to 2013 and, while market activity remains patchy across locations and property type, some agents are reporting their busiest new year since the onset of the credit crunch.”

“While encouraging, it’s far too early to pop the champagne corks as certain sectors will remain on ice until the return of wider-spread mortgage availability.”

Both Zoopla and Rightmove reported record traffic on their sites in January, and Shipside said that the number of pages viewed on Rightmove was 20% up on last year.
According to Rightmove, this year’s targeted group of sellers will be older people who are downsizing. The Rightmove asking price is way above the ‘mortgage agreed’ prices quoted by Halifax and Nationwide, currently standing at £162,932 and £162,245 respectively.